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Men’s Swimming: Irish make a splash in opener

Chris Doyen | Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Notre Dame made waves in its last dual meet over winter break with a 174-126 victory over Oakland on Saturday.

The Irish should benefit from the victory that followed a successful winter training session in Florida and leads into an important stretch of meets.

“We had an excellent training trip,” head coach Tim Welsh said. “We got a lot of work done while we were down there, and morale was high.”

Leading the way for Notre Dame were sophomores John Lytle and Ross Moore and junior Michael Bulfin, each of whom placed first in two events and combined for six of the 10 Irish victories that came in 16 events.

Lytle’s first victory came in the 200-yard freestyle as he clocked in at 1:41.08. The result in the 100-yard freestyle was similar: Lytle’s time of 46.27 was good enough for his second victory of the day.

Moore’s wins came in the 200-yard fly (1:51.59) and 100-yard fly (50.44). Bulfin secured first-place finishes in both the 3-meter dive (380.62) and 1-meter dive (327.82).

Irish divers also filled the next three spots in each event. In the 3-meter dive, senior Sam Stoner finished second, followed by freshmen Eric Lex and Geary Nathan. In the 1-meter event, Lex and Stoner swapped positions, while senior Steven Crowe finished fourth.

Sophomore Andrew Hoffman also had a productive day. He was part of a 200-meter medley relay team that finished second, took first in the 50-yard freestyle (21.31), and finished third in the 100-yard freestyle (47.58).

A sweep of the top three spots in the 1,000-meter freestyle, all claimed by freshmen, also helped put the Irish on top. Michael Sullivan took first with a time of 9:40.20, Christopher Douville was second (9:42.67), and Steven Brus (9:58.54) completed the sweep.

In the 100-yard backstroke, Christopher Wills, another freshman, finished first in 52.18, while junior Bill Bauman (53.28) finished third. Rounding out the victories for the Irish was sophomore Andrew Deters, who won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:38.22. He was followed by freshman Joshua Nosal, whose time of 4:43.37 was good enough for second place.

Welsh was pleased that the Irish pulled out a victory while still showing some fatigue from the rigorous winter training regimen.

“When you do so much hard training, you never know how it’s going to go,” Welsh said. “We had a solid meet on Saturday and got a good look at what we need to do to swim faster.”

The Irish will be busy next weekend. They will host conference foe Louisville on Friday at the Rolfs Aquatic Center, and then head to Evansville, Ill., to take on Northwestern on Saturday.